Lesson Plan 

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  Critical Thinking - Media and Youth Body Image

GRADE LVL: 4th Grade and up

CONTENT AREA:: Health,  Language Arts, Writing, Educational Technology

TIME:  1 month

TECHNOLOGY: Internet, Videos, Magazines, Advertisements, Flyers, Websites, Email, Graphics, Word Processing.



The goal of this project is for students to determine the impact that the media the impact has on youth body image. Students will pick a TV Commercial, Newspaper, Magazine or Internet Advertisement with young people and evaluate it.

Students will  determine the relationship of personal health practices and behaviors on an individual’s body systems and how family, peers, technology, culture, and the media influence thoughts, feelings, health decisions, and behaviors

Students will use technology to research and examine a variety of resources such as Internet, Videos, Magazines, Advertisements, Flyers, Websites, Articles, Books, Photos, and Newspapers in order to critically analyze and summarize media images and advertisements.  They will also use Word processing technology for self-expression and communication.     

Students will:

  • Learn the importance of developing media literacy skills and understand media stereotypes.
  • Share their feelings about how they perceive media images
  • Develop a positive self image by accepting themselves.
  • Increase awareness of negative behaviors resulting from poor self esteem
  • Develop empathy by increasing their awareness of other people's feelings concerning body type issues
  • Learn how to counter the effects of media images



  • Select an advertisement from the Internet, Videos, Magazines, Advertisements, Flyers, Websites, Articles, Books, Photos, or Newspaper and make a list of your observations.

  • View the following videos about body image and

      write down your feelings and reactions to the videos.

          "How Media Affects Youth (Body Image)"

          "Media Effects on Body Image"

           "Boys and Body Image Tips" 


  • Read the following articles about body image and find find one additional article to support this lesson. 

         "How Does the Media Effect Body Image in Teens"

            "Fast Facts - The Media's Effect on Body Image"


  • Break into smaller diverse groups and discuss your observations from your personal advertisement, what you observed on the videos, and discovered through your readings.  Student groups will engage in meaningful discussion concerning their feelings and experiences and share why they chose their personal advertisement.  Students must question the validity of the data and verify the sources for accuracy and credibility.  

         Some critical thinking questions to be considered for group discussion are:

  • Does the advertisement you selected use photos of people who realistically represent the general public?

  • Do they use photos of models or do they use photos of real people? Why?

  • What is the main message of the advertisement?  What are the hidden messages?

  • What group(s) of people is the advertisement targeting?  Are any groups excluded?

  • Does the advertisement promote a healthy self image or does it reinforce the idea that young people should be more concerned with looking differently based on an accepted standard of beauty? 

  • How do the images in the advertisement relate to the product being sold?

  • How did the advertisement make you feel?

  • How would you change this advertisement?

  • What stood out for you in the videos?

  • Do you feel the media impacts the body images of boys and girls equally? Explain.

  • How did your observations of your personal ad change after you saw the videos and read the articles.

  • What are media literacy skills?

Analyze results from your personal observation, research, and group discussions and create a one page summary paper using Microsoft Word.  Include ways to counter the effects of media images. 


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